, sad for america: he never returned to his home. at 34, john singleton copley was already one of the best and most popular painters in the american colonies. the young american artist john trumbull said of him, "an elegant-looking man dressed in fine maroon cloth with gold buttons, this dazzling to my unpracticed eye, but his painting, the first i'd ever seen deserving the name, riveted--absorbed my attention and renewed my desires to enter upon such a pursuit." copley had more work than he could do. early in his career, he mastered the popular rococo style: rich texture of laces and lush fabrics, empty faces. but like many pre-revolutionary americans, copley could not suppress his belief in individual and personal expression. ( drumbeats ) taxation without representation: copley's father-in-law, an english merchant, was importing tea to america. copley felt he could not speak out against his family, nor could he defend them. seeking his artistic heritage, he sailed for europe. it wasn't long before he became part of that heritage, a forerunner in the great romantic movement.